Trying to distance itself from the New York garment factory last week accused of labour law violations, retailer Macy's Inc yesterday (29 July) issued a statement to say that its goods were not produced in the sweatshop facility.

"There is no place in Macy's stores for goods that are manufactured by workers who are underage, underpaid or forced to work in conditions that are illegal," said Janet Grove, vice chair of Macy's Inc and chairman of Macy's Merchandising Group.

The retailer also revealed it is mulling legal action against the owners of another factory in Long Island City which was making apparently counterfeit goods with labels from a Macy's private brand.

This factory, named Zheng Da Inc, was also cited for labour law violations.

But Macy's said it had neither ordered nor authorised the garments from this firm, which were inferior quality private brand prints from previous seasons.

The discovery of women's apparel bearing a number of leading US retail brands was unveiled by the New York State Department of Labor on 23 July.

It accused Jin Shun Incorporated of withholding $5.5m in unpaid wages, keeping false records and coaching its workers to lie to inspectors. The investigation also revealed workers routinely worked 12-hour days, six to seven days a week.

However, Macy's says an internal investigation discovered that none of its goods were found in Jin Shun - and that independent third-party monitors acting on its behalf rejected the supplier last year because of its poor record-keeping.

Last week Gap Inc told just-style it currently has no production at Jin Shun - and is suspending any future production at the plant until the investigation is satisfactorily resolved.

And Limited Brands said it "holds its employees, suppliers and vendors strictly accountable for compliance with all applicable laws and our own business policies, including those relating to labour standards."